Heatwaves and wildfires: Lebanon braces for high fire risk amid soaring temperatures

News Bulletin Reports
2023-08-13 | 11:24
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Heatwaves and wildfires: Lebanon braces for high fire risk amid soaring temperatures
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Heatwaves and wildfires: Lebanon braces for high fire risk amid soaring temperatures

With temperatures soaring to 41 degrees Celsius in inland areas and reaching 37 degrees in coastal and mountainous regions, Lebanon faces an imminent threat of wildfires. 

The scorching heatwave is expected to persist for the next two days, further exacerbating the risk of wildfires.

The combination of extreme temperatures and gusty winds has already led to the outbreak of 111 fires within 24 hours. 

The Fire Risk Index is projected to escalate significantly in the upcoming days, particularly in high-risk areas such as Northern Bekaa, Western Bekaa, and Rashaya. Regions with dense vegetation cover, including Akkar, Donnieh, Batroun, Byblos, Matn, Baabda, Aley, Chouf, Tyre, and Hasbaya, are also at high risk of wildfires.

Is Lebanon ready for the upcoming fire season?

The Civil Defense forces remain on high alert, but they are grappling with severe shortages of equipment and resources. 

In response to the escalating danger, the Environment Ministry has established "High-Risk Area Teams" and "First Responders Teams," comprised of associations, municipalities, civil defense units, and volunteers. These teams are tasked with monitoring and assessing the wildfire risk, functioning as supportive units to the Civil Defense. 

The Environment Minister, Nasser Yassin, reported to LBCI that these measures could help mitigate the impact of potential "catastrophic fires." The ministry relies on early warnings issued by the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the University of Balamand to anticipate fire risks. 

However, the efficacy of these efforts hinges on the available resources and capacities.

In the face of this heightened fire risk, citizens are urged to exercise extreme caution and refrain from igniting fires in wooded or high-risk areas for any reason.

Lebanon News

News Bulletin Reports

Heatwaves

Wildfires

Lebanon

High

Fire

Risk

Soaring

Temperatures

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